Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Taleb Rifai praised the recent measures taken by Qatar to develop a sustainable tourism sector capable of attracting visitors from around the world.
This came during the meeting of the UNWTO Secretary-General and the Chief Tourism Development Officer at Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) Hassan Al Ibrahim met on the sidelines of the UNWTO's 22nd Session of the General Assembly, currently being held in Chengdu, China.
During the meeting, QTA officials briefed Rifai on the latest developments in Qatar's tourism sector, as well as on the progress of the preparations to host the official celebrations of World Tourism Day (WTD) in Doha on 27 September.
Rifai congratulated QTA on receiving Approved Destination Status (ADS) from the China National Tourism Administration. Qatar was granted ADS earlier this week, allowing it to receive tourists from China and to promote Qatar as a tourism destination within China.
He commented, "I would like to congratulate Qatar on achieving Approved Destination Status and opening representative offices in China. This significant milestone will surely pave the way for building new tourism developments between China and Qatar. The announcement comes at a time when Qatar has taken commendable steps towards developing a sustainable tourism sector that is capable of attracting visitors from all over the world."
He added: "I have full confidence that the Next Chapter of the Qatar National Tourism Strategy 2030 will continue to build on the solid foundations that have been laid since the Strategy was first launched in 2014."
The World Tourism Day official celebrations will be held in Doha on 27 September under the theme of Sustainable Tourism a Tool for Development', and is set to attract a number of high-level officials from the international tourism sector. It will also witness the launch of the Next Chapter of the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy.
For his part, Chief Tourism Development Officer at QTA Hassan Al Ibrahim said "On behalf of Qatar's government, I would like to extend my thanks to Rifai for the support he has shown Qatar during his tenure as Secretary-General. Our fruitful relationship with the UNWTO spans a multitude of significant areas as we continue to develop Qatar's tourism sector."
He added: "Plans are well underway to host WTD in Doha later this month. The event bears double significance for Qatar, as its theme of sustainability resonates strongly with our plans for the sector over the next five years, which is set to be unveiled during the opening session of the WTD celebrations. We look forward to welcoming the Forum's delegates to Qatar and extending our renowned Arabian hospitality to them."
The Peninsula Qatar